All Blacks TV?
March 31, 2000

Media Content, the British media rights consultancy, said on Thursday a subsidiary had been appointed by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union to advise on television and other media rights.

The agreement includes the right for Media Content's investment subsidiary to invest in any NZRFU media businesses and spin-offs on a priority and initial investor basis, it said.

NZRFU administers New Zealand club rugby and the national side, known as the All Blacks, is the best known in the sport with stars like Jonah Lomu its biggest draws. "The All Blacks are the Manchester United of rugby," said Jean Paul de la Fuente of Media Content.

Untapped media opportunities Media Content could advise on include development of an All Blacks television channel.

Extending the association's online opportunities with the strength of the All Blacks brand could also generate future revenues. Media Content forecasts that within 10 years the market in internet sports rights could represent up to 33 per cent of total media rights.

"We've needed our own media advisers for some time. Our board has taken the view that we should understand the value of our broadcast and media rights and we thought it wise to put in place advisers who could guide us," said David Rutherford, chief executive of NZRFU.

Last year Adidas, the sports apparel maker, paid NZRFU £70m for the right to manufacture the All Black kit, the most expensive such deal in rugby.

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